Dating during the busy holidays can be challenging! On top of your already packed schedule, you squeeze in shopping, office parties, and tree trimming—and somehow, you’re supposed to find time for your love life? Then there’s the fact that even if you do meet someone, starting to date at this time of year may prove awkward because of the many uncertainties inherent to new relationships.

But not to worry! Our matchmakers answer your top three “dating during the holidays” questions.

  1. Do I buy a present for someone I’ve just started dating?
    Along with carols and holiday cheer, December also brings the dreaded to buy or not to buy dilemma. After a handful of dates with someone, you may or may not feel ready to exchange gifts—but you worry that he or she might show up with something for you! But really, there’s no reason to make a big issue out of this, just do what feels right—while recognizing, of course, that you may give a gift without receiving one or vice versa. That being said, if you don’t want to be caught empty handed, come prepared with a generic gift (wine, book, etc.) just in case.
  2. Should I bring someone I’m newly dating to family gatherings?
    If you’re headed home for the holidays, you may wonder if you should ask the person you’re seeing to join you. This one’s a little trickier because meeting the family is typically considered a fairly big step in a relationship. So understand that an invitation to a family gathering implies you’re pretty serious about each other. If you don’t intend to date this person exclusively, it’s probably best to spend the holidays apart. Plus, your parents will likely want to bond with your date, so don’t put them through that process unless you expect to be together for a while. It’s not fair to your family and it could send mixed messages to your date!
  3. Should I even bother with first dates during this hectic time of year?
    Amidst the hustle and bustle of the season, it’s certainly easy to neglect your love life. But let’s get real. We’re busy professionals with full plates. Carving out time to date is difficult no matter what time of year! On the other hand we have to admit we seem to somehow make room for things that are important to us—it’s all about priorities. So if meeting someone special remains a top priority, it doesn’t make sense to place it on the back burner for a month! Pull out your planner and schedule time for dates. Don’t let the demands of the season derail your quest for love. Dating during the holidays is doable—especially now that you’re armed with answers to the quandaries discussed above!

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